Bureau of Education and CommunicationDivision of Marketing and Development
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
2006-2007 Overview of Activities
The Bureau of Education and Communication is responsible for educating and informing consumers through news releases, brochures and other publications, exhibits and displays, graphics presentations, the Internet, broadcast, and other media. Bureau productions are integral to many projects that are part of the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign (FAPC), a program that assists the state’s agricultural producers in expanding markets and promoting and selling Florida-grown products. In addition to its role within the Division of Marketing and Development, the bureau also produces numerous projects for other divisions throughout the Department.
During fiscal year 2006-2007, the bureau issued more than 160 press releases to inform the public about various regulatory and promotional activities of the Department. The bureau also responds to inquiries from the public and mails out publications upon request. More than 7,320 publications were mailed in response to over 969 individual requests received via the Division of Marketing and Development’s web site Florida-Agriculture.com.
Florida Market Bulletin
The Florida Market Bulletin is a primary vehicle for keeping Florida’s farming community informed of issues affecting the state’s agriculture industry and the Department. This agricultural newspaper has been published regularly by the Department since 1917, and is currently available in printed form and on the Internet. In addition to disseminating agricultural news and information, the monthly Florida Market Bulletin provides a forum by which Florida residents can advertise to buy or sell agriculture-related items through its classified advertising section. During the 2006-2007 fiscal year, 5,478 classified ads appeared in the Market Bulletin. Monthly circulation averaged 11,188.
Video and Radio
The bureau produces and disseminates audio and video productions such as television and radio public service announcements, radio programming, agricultural producer assistance videos, informational/promotional videos, documentaries, and training videos. Major projects produced during the fiscal year included:
- Radio public service announcements explaining the severe threat of wildfire and urging residents to burn safely.
- Four 60-minute episodes of “The Florida Report” that explain the Department’s agricultural support functions and highlight the practices of various farming operations around the state. Produced in conjunction with the Florida Farm Bureau, these reports aired on RFD-TV, a satellite network that primarily serves rural and farming communities nationwide.
- An informational/promotional video about the Future Farmers of America state officers.
- An informational video about Florida’s “Woman of the Year in Agriculture,” outlining the lifelong contributions to the state’s agricultural community by the 2006 recipient, Iris Wall of Indiantown.
- Three documentary videos about the winners of the 2006 Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards, detailing the progressive environmental practices of: Riverview Flower Farm, in Riverview; Lightsey Cattle Company, in Lake Wales; and Tampa Wholesale Nursery, in Dover.
- An informational video, “Africanized Bees in Florida: Coping With the Challenge,” that explains the threat posed by Africanized bees to humans, animals and the natural environment.
- An informational video, “Introduction of Invasive Exotic Species,” that explains the threat posed by the introduction of non-native plants and insects and the negative consequences this has on Florida vegetation and crops.
- A television public service announcement that utilizes a racing theme to acknowledge the contributions of Florida’s farmers to the state’s economy and promote Florida agricultural products to consumers as part of the “Fresh from Florida” program.
- Archival footage of the “Great Cattle Drive of ’06,” a re-enactment of a historical Florida cattle drive.
- A video that outlined the Department’s legislative budget requests for use by House and Senate committees and staff.
- A weekly agricultural radio news program produced in conjunction with Southeast AgNet.
The bureau is responsible for the design, illustration and production of printed brochures, reports, booklets, posters, billboards, ads, and other marketing, promotional and educational materials pertaining to agricultural marketing programs and other activities of the Department. The bureau’s graphics section was involved in the production of more than 350 projects during the fiscal year. Major graphics productions included:
- Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards 2006 program booklet.
- “Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award” 2005 program booklet.
- Department Annual Report for fiscal year 2005-2006.
- Graphics for the “Fresh from Florida” racing team, including logo, three car wraps and two trailer featuring Florida fruits and vegetables, driver suit, racetrack billboards, and a magazine cover.
- FAITC Bumper Crop campaign, which included photography, two large displays, print ads and a brochure.
- “Farm to Fuel” logo and conference materials.
- Graphic wraps for Department-owned vehicles to promote various segments of Florida’s agriculture industry including seafood, cattle, horticulture, horses and tropical fruit.
- CAFTA marketing report, outlining potential exporting opportunities for Florida agricultural producers.
- Graphics for “Kickoff to Better Health” nutrition and healthy lifestyle promotion that tied in to Super Bowl XLI in Miami, including logo, ads, billboard, web banner, poster, event banner, insert, program cover.
- “Florida Agriculture at a Glance” educational poster.
- Presentation folder for Future Farmers of America.
- Presentation folder for the Agri-Science Leadership Program.
- Set of educational Ag Trivia flash cards for kids.
- “Fuel Up and Get Fit” healthy lifestyle and nutrition booklet for kids.
- Fruit and vegetable posters for the “Xtreme Cuisine” cooking school for kids.
The Bureau of Education and Communication designed and maintains the Division of Marketing and Development’s two web sites, www.Florida Agriculture.com and www.FL-Seafood.com. During fiscal year 2006-2007, the sites received approximately 663,749 visits which yielded nearly 2.69 million page views.
The sites contain information and materials that help Florida farmers more effectively market their commodities. These marketing tools include trade leads, current market prices, information about the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign, agricultural statistics, license and bond requirements, agricultural classified ads, point-of-purchase marketing and promotional materials, and an extensive list of agricultural links for research purposes.
The web sites also foster the notion that the more consumers know about the many agricultural commodities grown in Florida, the more they will choose to buy products that are "Fresh from Florida." The sites inform consumers about the wholesomeness, variety and availability of Florida agricultural products by providing: recipes for meals using Florida-grown ingredients; nutritional data; seasonal availability information; food handling and safety tips; and locations and contact information for Florida’s community farmers’ markets, U-pick farms, seafood markets, agricultural fairs and expositions, and wineries and vineyards.
The bureau develops and maintains other web sites in cooperation with agricultural organizations that have partnered with the Division of Marketing and Development to promote Florida agricultural products. These web sites include:
Florida Wildflower Seed and Plant Growers Association Inc.
Florida Wildflower Advisory Council
Florida Propane Safety, Education and Research Council
Food for Thought from Florida’s Farmers, Florida Farm Bureau Federation
Plants at Work, Professional Landcare Network
The bureau also produced four issues of the Department’s Intranet-based employee newsletter, Open Lines.